Archive for the 'B-movies' Category

Sep

Comments Off on Death Race 2000 (revisited)

Deathrace 2000

So last week I got a call at 4 in the morning “Steve this is Drive-in Dan. Do you know what day it is?” I still could barely understand the concept that I was using a phone.  “It’s Tuesday and this dream really sucks.” I said groggily.  “Yeah but It’s a very important Tuesday! Today marks the 3 year anniversary of Lost Highway! Can you believe it?” to which I responded “Who is this? and how many pixie sticks you been sniffin?”  “I’ve cut back to 43 but that’s besides the point. We need to do a contest and give away something cool!” I thought about it for a while. “hello?” he said after a long moment of silence. “I think I got some pop-tarts and a extra tire gauge still in the wrapper. I’ll give them to you if you go away now and let me sleep you strange voice in my head.” “Don’t worry I’ll come up with it…you just sit back and watch the awesome. Gotta go…got to get the reels ready for tonights drive-in… oh and build a walk in shower. Bye!” At that point I believe my snoring drowned out the dialtone.

3 years old…wow that’s like 30 in Internet years. That makes the site so old that I just might go ahead retire now and collect some of that sweet social security the government’s been promising me. Good days are ahead my friends. Yes I’ll now be able to drive with my blinker on all the time and blurt out inappropriate things at parties. People will just be like “oh he’s an old blogger.” and nod their head in sympathy. You young kids with all your Twitterings and Facebookies…I remember when all we had were websites and email and we liked it that way

There are other benefits to being an old blogger. I can get get a handicap parking permit for the strip clubs and senior discounts at any of the local golden shovel buffets. Finally I’ll be able to get my money’s worth without having to be over 300 pounds. “Sorry No room for dessert I just got done eating 3 pounds of ham.” Yes it’ll be a cornacopia of geriatrics and gluttony. I suspect many senior citizens actually live there and just cycle back through the lines.

So I might just stay there or maybe there’s a nice retirement center that specializes in old b-movie bloggers? A place where people like me that can rattle off movie quotes for any occasion. Where movie nights consist of beasts, breasts, and blood. Where board games meet hardcore drinking. Where shuffle board and vodka end in someone breaking a hip. Where Walker fights break over Lipitor deals gone bad and senile gangs start turf wars. “Yeah you see Warriors that’s what you get when ya mess with the Orphans!”

Yes it’ll be a special day when Retroman hits the retirement scene so until then here’s to 30 more years of Lost Highway sheninigans and to future Lost Movie nights at the Shadey Twin Pines Senior Center. I hope to see ya there. Now get the hell of my lawn!

Speaking of senior citizen discounts, in Death Race 2000 old people are the top point getters for hit and runs in the Transcontinental Road Race. Surprisingly even more points than teenagers?! This must be the FUTURE! America is run by a fascists emperor calling himself the president and France has ruined the world …like we all knew it would. The only entertainment for the masses without American Idol re-runs is a race across country pitting 5 cars against each other and any people stupid enough to be jay walking. Consider it an evolution of NASCAR but now the drivers can take out the fans in the Walmart parking lot for big bonus points. David “I know kung-fu” Carradine and Sylvester “I don’t say Adriane anymore” Stallone star in this tale of competitive vehicular homocide. Mr. Caradine fresh from TV decided the best career move was to dress up in a S&M outfit and drive a lizard car. Surprisingly it worked for him. He plays the legendary frankenstein race car driver whose body has been rumored to be reconstructed from used Maytag dryer parts and duct tape allowing him not only shift the car at lightening speed but to dry his own cloths while wearing them. So big Frank and his bombshell beauty copilot Anne (Simone Griffeth) race across country against free-wheelin nazis and blood thirsty cowboys in cars with steer horns for the coveted winners circle. 1st place gets you a hand shake with the president but no commercial endorsements. that’s a whole lotta of chaffing and talcum powder for sitting in a race car that long. Little do people realize Frank has other intentions that don’t involve ads for viagra and plans to blow up the president with a makeshift “Hand” gernade himself. Meanwhile a group of revolutionaries dressed in blue jumpsuits hang around watching TV and plot to destroy the race and replaced Frankenstein with a more pudgy decoy. They learn It’s hard to fake anorexia and Frankenstein foils their plans numerous times while avoiding all their other Willy coyote trappings.*

deathrace 200The racers eventually take a pit stop at their 70’s local civic center and get all nekkid and massaged by big sides of Beef with fake tans. So many boobies! Stallone who plays Machine Gun Joe has a deep hatred of Frankenstein whom he thinks has been stealing the races and taking all his glory. Maybe if Joe stopped gunning down his fans or running over his pit crew he might be a bit more liked. At one point he gets in a scuffle with bean pole carradine when he’s found trying to choke Ann. Big Frank easily kicks Joe’s butt with his patent slow-mo kung-fu but I personally fault Joe’s pink tie. Guys in pink tennis sweaters wrapped around their necks also get beaten regularly. It’s really an epidemic.

deathrace 200Frankenstein later takes out a good dozen or so nurses and doctors at a local drive-thru hospital purposely missing those big scoring old folks parked on the street. He also takes a quick detour to run over the head of his fan club and then peels out on the pope to rack up some major pointage. Yes this is our hero ladies and gentlemen. He runs over medical personal, clergy, and his favorite fans. Later he drugs Annie with some tainted Gatoraide just in time to get dive bombed by a prop plane whose aiming skills is on par with a Glaucomic Barney Fiffe . Racers start getting offed left and right mostly through their own stupidity and it all culminates to  a showdown with the evil Mr. president. Asta la veto baby.

Roger Corman produced this film and actually though this movie would be a disaster when he first read the concept thinking it would be “just too dark and vile.” Luckily the director Paul Bartel convinced him otherwise and knew to take it in a more satirical direction. The result was pure b-movie gold. It’s one of my all time favorite b-movies as well as my first review I did for Lost Highway. So grab your leather jumpsuit and talcum powder and check out “Death Race 2000.”

– Multiple hit and runs
– 3 car explosions with crash and burn
– 6 breasts
– 1 “hand” gernade
– 1 explodo-toddler
– Black leather chaffing
– Homicidal bowling
– Bull fighting
– Exploding head fu
– Fly fishing fu

9.7 out of 10

“Myra, some people might think you’re cute, but I happen to think you’re a very large baked potato.” Wow…a big slam on potatoes everywhere. I’m sure they got letters from people in Idaho.

*ACME in no way endorses this movie or the use of their products and patent ideas for road runner capture.

Check out the trailer for Death Race 2000

Aug

posted by admin | August 15, 2009 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review, Horror movies

Comments Off on Hobgoblins

Syrin of CinemaLost Highway would like to welcome the Syrin of Cinema, Krysha Syrin as a guest reviewer to Lost Highway. “My attraction to B-movies started merely a year ago, after entering college. After attending what was to later become a weekly movie night at a friend’s house, I realized how much I missed the silver screen. We watched Grindhouse and I was intrigued. I wanted to know the inspiration behind the film, the history of the bygone grindhouse generation. Weeks upon weeks of researching and interviews later led me to the true fans of the trade. Before I knew it, I was grabbing a Netflix subscription, scouring video stores, and getting my hands on all the B-movies and exploitation films I could.

Between attending classes and working towards a degree in Creative Writing, my spare time is spent viewing all sorts of films and trying to entice everyone I know to do the same.” You can check out her website as well as follow her on Twitter.

hobgoblins

At first glance, Hobgoblins appears to be a strange off-shoot of Gremlins. Look again. Hobgoblins is a quirky mix of bad puppetry, bad acting, and an explosion of the 80s crammed into 90 minutes of non sci-fi torture.

The plot, should you ever find yourself forced to scrape one up off the bottom of this barrel, consists of a senile janitor named McCreedy who sends his interns off to their doom by trusting them to follow instructions and not investigate an unlocked, green-glowing vault. His latest janitorial protégé, Kevin, manages to free a “great evil” which McCreedy had tried to warn him about in sentence fragments but failed do to his senility.

Kevin attempts to correct his wrongdoing by wrangling up the Hobgoblin with his ragtag crew. Amy, his girlfriend with exceptionally high morals; Daphne, who thinks “morals” are a brand of condom; Daphne’s boyfriend, Nick, a war vet who probably got discharged for smuggling out grenades; and Kyle, female in-training.

At some point or another, the entire crew falls prey to the Hobgoblins cunning trickery, resulting in their arrival at Club Scum and the inevitable progression of the film further, much to any viewer’s dismay.

– Thugs
– Loose women
– Frigid women
– Spandex pushed to its limits
– Mortal Kombat: Garden tool edition
– Puppet-induced hallucinations
– Flailing
– Van rocking
– Extreme parking
– War flashbacks
– The plot (and let me know if you find it)

2.5 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Hobgoblins

Aug

Comments Off on The Car

The Car

I consider my time as a teenager not too traumatic. I mean it was no Wonder Years though there’s been times where a disembodied voice would annoyingly narrate over me. My teen years just weren’t filled with all that typical drama, angst and teenage rebellion you’d come to expect. I had a few good buddies, couple of ex-girlfriend and enjoyed watching lots of b-movies.

the car

Back then I drove a 1969 Camaro SS that was given to my on 16th birthday (and yes my dad is that rockin’ cool.) I’m not sure why he trusted the car to a 16 year old lead foot who thought “Gone in 60 Seconds” was a drivers education video but I wasn’t going to complain.

The car was a thing of beauty. Daytona yellow with SS striping and a 300 small block v8 that we pulled out of a Monte Carlo just ready to break free from that hood. It had a low 411 gear ready to run a quarter mile in a heartbeat and it would take all your weight resting on that brake pedal just to hold it back at the stop light. It was like a wild animal ready to pounce and rip through any foreign compact that got in it’s way. My buddy and I would go to the cruise in town on Friday nights driving around aimlessly for a few hours, wastin’ gas, loading up on junk food, and occasionally stopping in at the Big Boy’s parking lot. For some reason all the cool kids liked to hang out there. Maybe it was just the siren call of that giant Big Boy statue smiling endlessly onwards mocking us with his dead cold stare taunting us while holding that giant burger. *shivers*

But my car drank gas like a sponge and eventually I had to put it into storage and drive something a bit more practical and a lot less exciting. Sure I drive a mini-van now, but my Camaro is still waiting in an undisclosed location. Patiently looking forward to taking to the streets again and if you listen quietly at night you might still hear that engine purrin’.

the carSpeaking of muscle cars with a mind of their own. “The Car” features an unmarked Lincoln demon car terrorizing a small country town with it’s thirst for blood… unleaded blood of course. The horn blaring hell car bumps off a few bicyclists while barreling down the highway one day, but soon it shows it’s true motives when it makes a human speed bump out of a french horn playin’ hippie and then goes on a hit and run spree with a high school marching band. Yes Satan has a deep hatred of marching band music. This was a bit surprising as I would have thought marching bands greatest hits would be on a continuous loop in Hell’s waiting room.

Some of the survivors take refuge in an old cemetery whose holy ground notoriously protects them from the likes of vampires, werewolves, and more importantly demon cars. The loud mouthed band teacher, Lauren, decides that’s the perfect time to taunt and belittle the unseen driver. I mean really how do you trash talk a car? “Your daddy was an Etzel” “Your momma’s so old she farts dust out her tailpipe.” The whole scene was just unnecessary.

the carMeanwhile, Luaren’s boyfriend Wade (James Brolin) is hanging out at the police station. He’s a divorced father and part time lawman who besides having the unfortunate name of Wade he also sports an epic 70’s mustache. Stache’s like that usually only grow on serial killers or porn stars so props to Wade for making it work.

Wade’s band of emotionally fragile deputies attempt to catch the car but Satan has seen plenty of episodes of Dukes of Hazzard and knows how to outsmart them law folks. The way I figure it this small town consists of about 100 people total so that breaks down to about 40 marching band members, 20 drunken wife beaters, 10 rodeo cowboys and the rest are sheriff deputies. logically, there should’ve been plenty of law enforcement to go around but the car continues bouncing people off it’s bumper like ping pong balls. Even the sheriff gets run down in the middle of main street and Lauren gets offed in her own home like a bug on a windshield. Not so much a drive-by but more of drive-thru kill.

Wade teams up with the town’s reigning wife beatin’ drunk and resident explosive experts (aren’t they usually the same person?) and they plan to lure it to the rock quarry where all made for TV movies go to die. As luck would have it the car can’t be found though and nobody had gotten killed lately but Wade arrives home one night to find the car parked in his very own garage just sitting around mooching a few oil quarts, reading his Motor Trends and puffing out some carbon monoxide. Mustering up a Jackie Chan stunt dive he escapes through the garage window and flees on his jr. dirt bike with the evil car in hot pursuit. With a total disregard to helmet laws he lures it outside town limits for the big demon showdown and pyrotechnic light show spectacular. They could charge admission for fireworks finales like that. Just add some heavy metal music and Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat and you’ve got yourself a show.

the car

This movie had made for TV movie written all over it with very little gore but plenty of melodramatic acting. The main star of course is the car itself. It was designed by the late automobile customizing extraordinaire George Barris. George also designed the original bat mobile, the Munster’s car as well as the sweet ride for The Hoff’ in Knight Rider. Big props to Mr. Barris for making this car a true killer on wheels and making me fear tinted window Lincolns.  Retroman says take a test drive with “The Car”. It’s a hot pocket of car killin’ mayhem with some b-movie cheese inside. But “Caution: Contents may be hot.”

– 1 Lincoln Deathcar with optional truck horn
– 1 James Brolin mustache
– 3 Car crashes with multiple crash and burns
– 1 Motorcycle chase with gratuitous demon explosion
– Extreme off-road biking
– French horn homicide
– Marching band hit and run
– Car door fu
– House drive-thru service
– Rodeo marching band shows

8.4 out of 10

Check out the trailer for The Car

Jul

Comments Off on Chopping Mall

chopping mall

I really hate shopping….no let me rephrase that, I would actually prefer to have my toenails removed with  rusty pliers while rabid raccoons chewed through my stomach lining than go shopping. It’s no secret that dragging me to the mall is akin to taking a 5 year old to a masochistic dentist. It’s always the same, there’s a lot of leg kicking and uncontrollable sobbing until someone gives me a sticker and a toothbrush. It may be the fear of being confined in a small place or feeling woozy from the combined smells of the nail saloon and the nearby roasted almond stand, but I can’t get out of their quick enough. chopping mall
Women on the other hand view the act of shopping as an endurance sports that they need to train for year round constantly perusing all the stores for deals on hundreds of already over priced items. I’d ask me wife as she’s heading out the door “Well what are you getting at the mall?” she’d just wave and reassure me “oh, nothing just looking.” Later she’d return with a truck load of shopping bags full of decoupage and scrap booking supplies and now pulling an additional U-haul trailer filled to the brim with purses and shoes. “Honey, I didn’t have enough room so I had to put some items on layaway.”

When a man goes to the store we get what we need and leave immediately. No standing around, no chit-chat, and avoiding seeing anything we don’t have to. It’s almost the same etiquette for public bathrooms. It’s nice how our Neanderthal brains keep things simple like that. If it wasn’t for the invention of the remote control we’d probably still be hunting out of caves and peeing on shrubs to mark our territory. In the meantime to pay for the wife’s shopping excursions I guess I can always donate some more plasma. I’m sure I can make a good chunk of change before I get woozy and pass out.

Speaking of extreme shopping survival, robot killers are on the loose in the mall and they aren’t there for the sidewalk sales. This is the movie “Paul Bart: Mall Cop” should have been. In fact, I think if you add killer robots to any movie it can increase it’s entertainment value by a factor of 5 or 6 depending on how goofy the robots look. What I wouldn’t have give  to see a cyborg toss Matthew McConaughey into a pool of lava a few times.

In the film Chopping Mall apparently shopping mall crime is rampant across the country. Kids shoplifting banana clips and wayfarer sunglasses at an alarming rate or killing each other in the parking lots over swatch watches and members only jackets. Oh the humanity! So a new line of defense is needed that doesn’t require doughnut breaks. A new line of defense in the form of hi-tech robots stocked with death lasers, c4, torch cutters and Tasers that can take down a horse. Is it even legal to electrocute shoplifters? Sure It seems a bit excessive firepower for mall crimes, but it would be a great deterrent knowing you could have your head blown off at any moment for pocketing that friendship bracelet.

Just as this new security line of roving hi-tech garbage cans is set do go online at midnight, a group of teens decide to hide out and throw a party at a department store to partake in dirty dancing, debauchery and anything else that generally goes on in a Sears Roebuck.Chopping Mall

I was already a bit leary of robots running around a mall with early versions of Windows coursing through their circuits, but then their central computer that was strategically placed on the roof gets zapped by a freak lightening storm. (Always be sure to install lightening rods with your rooftop computer.) The robots circuits get scrambled but instead of doing lame impressions and hanging out Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy they electrocute janitors and hunt down frizzy haired teenagers. See, I already like them better than Wall-e.

The teens are automatically locked in the mall until dawn so it gives them plenty of time to drink Slurpees, eat burritos, and stock up on semi automatics from the local artillery boutique. Some of the others get stuck in the air ducts from eating one too many corn dogs then get the smack down from a few of the bots including a golf cart electrocution and accidental bimbo barbecue. I’m not sure why so many of these kids get so easily wiped out by these hunks of tin since they’re about as intimidating as a busted garbage disposal. B-movie rules still apply though as the nerdy girl and geeky guy become the tag team heroes taking on the killbots with road flares and propane tanks. Suffice to say you should always try to hang close to the nerds to better your chances for survival.

This Roger Corman produced film was directed and written by Jim Wynorski and was first released under the title “Killbots” but bombed at the box office so was quickly re-released as “Chopping Mall” given repeat viewer whiplash. There’s also quite a few cameos included Paul Barel and Mary Woronov of “Rock N’ Roll Highschool” fame as well as Kelli Maroney who is best known for her work in “Night of the Comet” another classic b-movie flick. Also look for a quick cameo from Rodney Eastman of A Nightmare Elm St. fame who plays an uncredited shoplifter. Disappointingly his head was not incinerated by one of the rogue bots but he does drown in his own waterbed in Elm St. 4 so you can always rent that instead. This was a pretty decent b-movie that oozes the 1980’s and may make you second guess your toaster oven. Retroman says check it out and watch out for early mornin’ mall walkers.

– 2 Electrocutions
– 1 Exploding bimbo head
– 1 Flaming Barbara Crampton
– Robot choke hold
– Extreme gum chewing
– Grappling hook impalement
– Mall free form diving
– Propane grenades
– Paint can fu
– Laser fu
– Golf cart robot showdowns

7.9 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Chopping Mall

Jul

posted by admin | July 3, 2009 | 70's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Sci-Fi, Uncategorized

Comments Off on Empire of the Ants

In a recent BBC article It’s been discovered that a our littlest friends under our feet, the Argentine ant, is actually part of a vast mega colony that has already colonized much of our planet. Scary? yes… and maybe the largest species that could even rival humans in their population scale but with less strip malls and urban sprawl. These ants were once only native to south America (hence the Brazilian waxed thoraxes) and now cover every continent by hitching a ride on our shoes…well everywhere except ANTartica. They figured with a name like that it was already spoken for. Faced with this news of impeding insect invasion, I just want to take this moment to welcome our benevolent insect overlords and offer my services in managing diabetic worker slaves in the vast sugar factories. Let’s just try to forget my younger years involving a magnifying glass on a sunny day or that ant farm I accidentally flooded with radiator fluid.

empire of the antsSpeaking of mutant ants taking over the world, “Empire of the Ants” leads us to believe that not only can radioactive waste cause insects to grow to the size of Volkswagons but they can also setup thriving sugar based economies, run factories, and managed cheap labor forces. All this in a single day.

Joan Collins takes a break from crappy TV shows to play a unscrupulous land developer, Marilyn Fryser. She’s trying to sell island real estate to clueless Floridians in leisure suits. Little do they know one of the island perks is scenic sunset views of radioactive barrels of toxic waste washing ashore right where the ants like to sunbath. The typical poorly sealed nuclear storage containers start leaking silver paint all over the ants and suddenly BAMMM! gigantus insectus among-us making picnic runs on Marilyn’s clients.

After discovering some dead construction workers covered in Smuckers raspberry jam the remaining customers decide to hightail it outta there as fast as their golf cart tour bus can carry them. Easily exceeding speeds of 10 mph they finally arrive back at the beach to find their tour boat getting antified. Dan, our grizzly faced boat captain swims out to try to save his precious scooner but the ants gives him the smack down. In a Gilligan-esque moment he decides to just to blow up the boat instead. The skipper would be proud. Now trapped on the island, rained on, hungry and without any extra eyeliner for Joan Collins they start to head towards the center of the island in hopes of rescue. The very old and very senile couple trailing the group decides it best to go off on their own hiding out in a dilapidated shack. Their last words would be “don’t worry we’ll be safe in here” proving again that old people are among the first to die in any b-movie.

Empire of the antsThe survivors battling their poor sense of direction take a old boat down the river and run into an ant made baricade and have to battle American Gladiator gauntlet style with giant foam ant heads. The cameraman appears to be in the thick of the action because heck if anyone can tell whose landing any punches with all those styrofoam legs flailing around. The boat sinks and they find a creepy old couple living in a barb wired cottage retreat who take them to town (this island must be huge!) They know something’s strange is happening in hicksville with not a Walmart or PigglyWiggly in sight and bets are someone’s been hoarding all the sugar packs too.

Their suspicions are confirmed when they find the towns folk being rounded up and taken to the gigantic sugar factory outside town which are apparently quite prevalent in the Florida everglades. Inside the factory, people are lining up like it’s a carnival ride to get sprayed with a cloud of ant pheromone from a queen ant crammed into a phone booth. This mind control spray makes the victim do whatever the queen asks of them plus it has the side benefit of the fresh scent of Lysol. It’s pretty much like if they went to a Pink Floyd laser show and got a contact buzz. Thankfully Dan fends of the ants and towns folk with a road flare and his extreme grizzliness then loads up the last of the survivors onto yet another boat ready to get lost again in the swamp. Hey the guy really likes boats can ya dig? I think the factory blew up too at some point but they ran out of budget…it’s mostly implied by a guy driving aimlessly around in a fuel tanker and then there’s a grease fire and some flaming ant footage.

I was surprised at the low level special effects this movie utilized for a 70’s monster film. I’d swear it was a 1950’s sci-fi movie if it wasn’t for the eye piercing leisure suits and feathered hairdos. Lots of split screens between the actors and ants, toy models with ants trying to climb the painted back drop, and styrofoam props make the effects on par with a Gamera film. The most redeeming quality of this movie is seeing Joan Collins impaled by a giant queen ant after getting her brain zapped. “That’s for making us endure Dallas..see ya in hell!”  “Empire of the Ants” is cheesy little b-flick that just goes to show you can make a movie without the need for acting, special effects or even a plot getting in the way.

-Extreme leisure-suits
-Nuclear waste in a can
-Joan Collins fu
-Fraudulent resort tours
-Paddle fu
-Ant smoke contact buzz
-Road flair phone booth attacks
-Giant styrofoam ants
-Exploding sugar shacks
-Kaleidoscope ant vision
-Redneck mind control

I give it a 7.3 out of 10..but that’s only because the ants are watching me… right now….listening to my thoughts.

Check out the trailer for Empire of the Ants

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